Low-Down Archives for May-June 2013

Taurus Solar Eclipse, Sagittarius Lunar Eclipse

Chart for the New Moon in Taurus
Chart for the Solar Eclipse ~ New Moon in Taurus

May.09 – SOLAR ECLIPSE ~ NEW MOON in TAURUS (19:31 of Taurus)


Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

May.09, 2012, 8:28 PM EDT

London, UK:

May.10, 2012, 1:28 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

May.10, 2012, 10:28 AM AEST

"What's a Solar Eclipse?"

"What's a New Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience TAURUS energy in your life.

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If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.
~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Taurus: it's what you got.

It's your stuff. The stuff you buy, the stuff you sell, the stuff you collect.

Good stuff, bad stuff, free stuff and priceless stuff.

You can strut your stuff, like Taurus-Rising Mae West. But if you're too arrogant about it, you're seen as Mr. Big Stuff ("who do you think you are"). If you're haughty or rigid, you're a stuffed shirt. Or, you could be warm and fuzzy, like a stuffed toy.

You can accumulate knowledge, skills and other cool stuff, or stuff your head with stuff and nonsense.

You might revel in luscious food and drink, stuff your face and then feel like a stuffed turkey.

Stuff happens. And when the stuff hits the fan, you'd better get out of the way. "Stuff" is often interchangeable with....well, you know what comes out of a bull. ;‑)

You need the right stuff to make something work: talent, skill, knowledge, training, resources. And when it does work, it can be powerful stuff. But if you don't really know your stuff, sooner or later people will know you're full of bullstuff.

Above all, Taurus says: don't sweat the small stuff...and it's all small stuff.

Funny thing how it is. If a man owns a little property, that property is him, it's part of him, and it's like him. If he owns property only so he can walk on it and handle it and be sad when it isn't doing well, and feel fine when the rain falls on it, that property is him, and some way he's bigger because he owns it. Even if he isn't successful he's big with his property. That is so.

But let a man get property he doesn't see, or can't take time to get his fingers in, or can't be there to walk on it - why, then the property is the man. He can't do what he wants, he can't think what he wants. The property is the man, stronger than he is. And he is small, not big. Only his possessions are big - and he's the servant of his property. That is so, too.
~ John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Taurus is also about ownership. What does it mean to "own" something?

To own something is to take possession. You call it your own; it becomes part of who you are�a part of who you are. You are what you do, think, feel and have. It becomes the stuff you're made of. And with Taurus' love of good food, you definitely are what you eat!

Ideally, you own it � it doesn't own you. Otherwise you become possessed by it, by your desire for it, by your pursuit of it and by the importance you give it in your life. You can own or be owned.

Someone who owns is bigger than what they have dominion over. When you own your desire�for food or clothes or money or stuff�you can stop when you have enough. Someone who cannot stop is owned by their desire. To own something is to be in charge of it, yes, but more importantly it means you're in charge of the part of you that wants it or needs it. You can decide about it, including the decision to do without it.

So: what exactly is enough? It's almost never just about the stuff you're going after, but about what the stuff represents to you. What is it in you that longs to be fulfilled when "enough" is reached? The answer may be different than you think.

For what are you possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?
And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?
~ Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

The quest for wealth, for example, may start out as the need to have "enough" to live on, to live comfortably and even to have some put away for future needs. But if the hunger is still there even after that goal has been reached, then there is probably something else that's driving that need or desire. Think about it: how much money does one person really need? Even if you are responsible for taking care of others and therefore your need is more, there's still a limit to how much is truly enough.

If you keep pushing back the finish line as you approach it, afraid you don't have enough yet, then you need to ask yourself why. Did you miscalculate how much "enough" would be? Did the situation change how much "enough" is? Otherwise, perhaps there is something else driving your quest other than the thing you are questing after.

At its most disconnected extreme, we often call it greed or obsession. At a certain level, it may be a lust for power, since excessive abundance of something can give you power over others who have less of it and need more. But we are complicated creatures, and cut-and-dried labels usually oversimplify a much deeper and more complex layer of truth.

For example, obsessive greed for wealth might be driven by a past experience of not having enough. Fear of returning to that state could drive us to accumulate more and more. It doesn't even have to be something from our own past, if our family experienced serious injustice related to poverty in the distant past. Fear of falling back into that place of powerlessness and lack could be passed down from generation to generation, where we continue to act it out without even realizing it. It would be camouflaged very effectively because it would just "feel normal."

The thing is: if we don't ever address the underlying reasons (in the example, the fear of poverty and all that it entails), it doesn't much matter how much money we have�it will never be enough. As long as we believe that only money will fill that void, no amount of savings, investments or insurance will ever feel like it is bigger than that bottomless pit where our fear resides.

Freeing yourself was one thing,
claiming ownership of that freed self was another.
~ Toni Morrison, Beloved

At this New Moon in Taurus, the concept of "enough," and how we define it and why, are very important. This New Moon is also a Solar Eclipse, so the work we do at this time around those concepts will have far reaching effects and implications.

Let's start with the Stellium in Taurus: Mars, Mercury, Sun and Moon, all cozying up within about 5 degrees. And we'll throw the South Lunar Node in there just for fun, since that's what makes this New Moon a Solar Eclipse.

All those planets in Taurus can be a blessing or an obstacle, depending on how you work with it. Taurus is an Earth sign, so it's important that you work with Taurus issues in a practical, realistic way, and preferably slowly, patiently and methodically. Sudden change is not something Taurus enjoys very much, and Taurus has a high priority of wanting to enjoy life!

Taurus is also a Fixed sign, which is kind of what it sounds like. You ever tried to push a cow? Solid, grounded, contentedly chewing on grass out in the pasture�she ain't goin' nowhere! The more you push, the more she's likely to slowly look back at you as if to say, "Dude, you're doing this why...?" Either that or she could give you a swift kick, like she would whisk away flies with her tail. No sense getting all stirred up if the problem can be taken care of simply, with a minimum of effort.

So, as a Fixed sign, when Taurus is in her tranquil, relaxed, couch potato mode, she's not going to want to get up and at 'em without a pretty good reason. Conversely, once she's mooooving, she's likely to stay in motion until there's a reason to stop. After all, in the name of practical efficiency she might as well get other stuff done while she's at it, right?

We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled.
The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over
and let the beautiful stuff out.
~ Ray Bradbury

Mars in Taurus will not be happy about this tortoise approach. Mars wants to do things quickly, directly or abruptly. This slow gradual pace makes him feel like he's running through molasses or maybe drunk on some really expensive wine. So your get-up-and-go might tend to stall or take a while to get revved up enough to get going. However, once you're going there's a lot of endurance to sustain you through the journey or task or whatever you've set your sights on.

Mercury in Taurus can be a bit awkward. He'll excel at something that requires sustained concentration and pragmatic answers, but might stumble a bit in the quick-witted department. His usual winged messenger sneakers have been replaced by a pair of hand-tooled Lucchese cowboy boots � beautiful, classy, uber-expensive and still practical!

Ready for a change of scenery, Venus, the planetary ruler of Taurus, has just turned a somersault into Gemini. That puts she and Mercury in Mutual Reception, where they're in each other's signs � kind of like wearing each other's clothes.

"Ah," dawns Mercury, "that explains the pretty pink cowgirl boots." Venus picked a fun pair of winged sneakers out of Mercury's closet that met her high fashion standards�in holographic rainbow colours, of course.

Venus is the dispositor of the herd of Taurus planets ("What's a Dispositor?") so she has a starring role in the chart. Venus' spin is one of awareness and creative expression, especially if they can be used for practical application. Venus is also about admiration, appreciation and enjoyment. In Gemini, she knows it's not enough to just be cool and hang out � you have to be aware of the fabulous goodies around you. What's the point of appreciation if you're not aware of it? It's like sleeping through a great movie.

Venus' only major aspect is a square to Neptune, which can definitely get the creative imagination flowing, especially telling some of Gemini's famous tall tales. However, the square aspect means you may need to be careful not to fall into a trap of expecting that if you can imagine it, it is therefore real. It can become real, with some of Taurus' patient hard work, but that's not the same thing as being real now. Do the reality check before you assume.

"Stuff your eyes with wonder," he said. "Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories."
~ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

The Sun and Moon are exactly semi-sextile (30�) to Jupiter. The semi-sextile tends to be a minor energy that's subtle and not very substantial. At its worst this aspect can feel irritating, emotionally insecure and fleeting, since it lacks perspective and clarity � kind of like trying to focus on something you can only see out of the corner of your eye. At its best, it is curious, intuitive and a magnet for all kinds of information and knowledge.

Jupiter has a tendency to overdo everything. Unless well-balanced and grounded by Saturn, Jupiter's expansion can build forever until it collapses or burns itself out due to lack of substance. In other words, Jupiter often doesn't know when enough is enough. This can amplify Taurus' issues about excess, and given the elusive nature of the semi-sextile, you might not even realize it's happening until it's suddenly in your face.

With Jupiter being in Gemini, you could gather massive amounts of facts, information, ideas and resources toward a long-term project or goal, which can be very useful. However, you might also fall into the trap of believing this is getting the job done, but later find you're stuck in the mud because you still haven't actually put the car in drive and stepped on the gas. Oh ya�that.

Jupiter is sesqui-quadrate (135�) to Saturn, currently wide but applying, which gives it more strength (exact on May.20). The sesqui-quadrate is a dynamic but conflict-oriented energy, derived from the square aspect. Therefore, Saturn's wagging finger is visible out of the corner of Jupiter's eye, with Saturn intoning, "Do the reality check. Make it practical. Prioritize and organize."

Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.
~ Tom Peters, The Best Corporate Strategy? None, Of Course
(misattributed to Leonardo da Vinci)

There are precious few applying aspects in the chart (which tend to be stronger, as the energy is still building). Almost all are separating (meaning they have already reached exact and are now drifting apart). Even the Moon goes Void of Course after it leaves the conjunction with the Sun (meaning it makes no more exact aspects to any planets until it reaches the next sign). The majority of separating aspects suggests that much of the energy you're working with, going forward from the eclipse, has already emerged and now you will be integrating it, applying, assimilating it and/or letting go of it.

The applying aspects become the largely dominant forces in the chart. Uranus and Pluto apply to yet another square (exact on May.20), which brings in considerable dynamic tension between the impulse to break free of old patterns versus the urge to stabilize and control them.

Saturn and Neptune apply to another trine (exact on Jun.11), providing some creative harmony that make it easier to see the greater potential of those old patterns. This is helpful to Taurus as it carries out the day-to-day grunt work that must happen if that potential is to be manifested.

Mercury applies to a conjunction to the Sun (exact on May.11), as well as a semi-sextile to Jupiter (exact May.10). This is likely to feed the hunger for information, but might also help to slow down the compulsion to feast endlessly on insubstantial ideas. And Venus applies to her square to Neptune (exact on May.13), so creativity can be high but watch out for any mix-up between thinking about doing something or talking about it versus actually doing it.

Taurus' Fixed nature can make change evolve slowly. Patience, grasshopper! It will unfold in its own time. Ironically, the more you push, the more it will slow down the process. Find a space of tranquility in the present moment, and let go of the panic, fear or urgency that you feel. You'll soon see the seeds you planted beginning to sprout.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and it's all small stuff.
~ Title of a book by Richard Carlson (Sun in Taurus),
but originally used 16 years earlier by Robert S. Eliot

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May.11 – Sun conjunct Mercury (21:19 of Taurus)  (May.12 in AU)

During this transit, your sense of self and purpose can become merged with what you think, perceive and say. On one hand, this can make for an easy flow of ideas and communication from inside your brain to the external world. It can also increase your perceptions and observations of the world, as you file it all away in your internal database. On the other hand, you may find yourself a bit tongue-tied, as it could be hard to separate your sense of self from your perceptions and ideas enough to find the words to adequately express them. In that case, just observe and go with the flow; the words will come later. It can also be a time when it's not easy to be objective, especially about yourself and how you bring yourself to the world around you. It's like your Being automatically expresses and sets into motion the things you think, perceive and want to say. This can help you to feel like your sense of self is shining effortlessly, but if your thoughts and perceptions are in conflict with other parts of you (e.g., emotions, needs, objectivity) then it might become a time when you act a little too quickly with blinders on. Strive for balance and self-honesty before you act.

May.13 – Mars conjunct South Lunar Node (16:50 of Taurus)  (May.12 in NAmer MT/PT)  ("What's a Lunar Node?")

This transit's range of influence is roughly 2 weeks before and after this date, although it reaches its peak now. The South Lunar Node is where we let go of, move away from, express or release something. Although the South Node can involve loss of some kind, it can also signify that what had previously been actively in the "foreground" of your life is now moving into the "background" and becoming assimilated as simply one part among many, rather than being a specific focus. Often whatever is being released is something we took in, embraced or began to move toward when Mars passed over the North Lunar Node. The North Node is sometimes known as the Dragon's Head, which eats or consumes. The South Node is known as the Dragon's Tail, which... well you get the idea. ;-) Since this involves Mars, what is being embraced or released likely has to do with anger, aggression, assertiveness or forcefulness. This might also be about sex or physical energy or something being set into motion. Depending on your natal chart, this could also involve the houses Mars rules and resides in, as well as where the current transit is taking place.

May.13 – Venus square Neptune (05:12 of Gemini/Pisces)  (May.14 in AU)

Money, material resources, relationships and pleasure could be subject to confusion, deception, or unrealistic wishful thinking under this transit. It may seem that what you thought you had (love, friendship, pleasure, money, resources) has suddenly disappeared or isn't as dependable as you thought it was. You might feel disappointed, disillusioned, sad or alone, but this is more likely to be a passing phase than a serious crisis. The question is: what are your secret longings and subtle desires that may be operating unconsciously? These could be clouding your ability to relate to people and situations in your life. Old addictions, depression or idealism may surface as way of dealing with feelings. A better outlet would be to channel your feelings and experiences into creativity, beauty, inspiration and compassion; for example, art, music or helping others.

May.15 – Mercury enters Gemini (until May.31)  (May.16 in AU)

Mercury is the planetary ruler of Gemini, so the mind wants to fly fast and free. Communication and perceptions may come and go like a fresh breeze through an open window. This can create a wide variety of ideas but not necessarily productive application of those ideas. You might find it a little easier to articulate words, sharpen your mental focus, and collect and analyze your thoughts and information. This can give wings to your ideas and self-expression, but remember that you'll have to back up any promises and "fast talk" with action and substance. Let this be a time to explore possibilities and enjoy social interaction, rather than jump to final conclusions. Collect the raw data and exchange ideas, but be aware that understanding the broader meaning will likely come later.

May.18 – Mercury square Neptune (05:15 of Gemini/Pisces)

Your mental focus may be a bit clouded, confused or lethargic right now, as your conscious mind struggles to grasp the formless, limitless expanse of the Universe and the unconscious. You may experience some disillusionment or disappointment, in your observations or communication with others. However, what is flowing under the surface of events right now is the need to dissolve away the crust of old expectations that blocks your view from seeing a greater Truth. If you're feeling off-balance, try to listen more than you talk, so that you can be receptive to your inner sensitivity. Left-brain analysis might be difficult to work with right now unless you balance it with a lot of right-brain intuition. You may have to let go of a rigid mindset, or give up what you think you understand about a situation in your life, in order to open yourself to a new perspective that is difficult to define but is ultimately in the best interest of your spiritual growth.

May.18 – Venus sextile Uranus (11:08 of Gemini/Aries)  (May.19 in AU)

Relationships, finances, resources and pleasures could benefit from spontaneously trying a completely different approach. If these areas of your life have been getting a little stale or too routine, this transit could shake things up a little...just enough to make things interesting and breathe some fresh air into your familiar routine. Unexpected income could come your way, or you might discover something you just can't resist buying, or you might have an opportunity to make new social connections. The upside of this transit is that it's possible to break free of old habits and enjoy spontaneous interaction. The downside could come in the form of impulse purchases that are beyond your budget, or behaving a bit recklessly or making snap decisions that you can't live with later. This energy is best used to break free of what restricts you, without shattering the foundation you're standing on.

May.20 – Venus square Chiron (13:30 of Gemini/Pisces)  (May.21 in AU)

You may be forced to make adjustments to relationships and/or finances now, as you face situations in these areas that just don't want to balance out the way you want them to. You may feel a bit like you're in a catch-22 (no-win situation), where the more you try to find balance and harmony, the more you feel like you're chasing your own tail around in circles. This is a time when healing in relationships and financial problems may be difficult to obtain. Harmony in these areas can seem impossible or blocked, yet it is still necessary to keep trying. By trying anyway, it may be possible to find a solution that meets your needs, even if it may not be what you wanted, hoped for or expected. Strive to find a creative solution that draws on your best side.

May.20 – Sun enters Gemini (until Jun.21)  (May.21 in AU)

Happy Solar Return to everyone born in the sign of Gemini! This is the time of year for the cosmic Twins to party, but it is also a time for all of us to explore our dual nature and our sentient awareness that emerges from it. Communication and exchange of information and ideas are specialties of Gemini, and this period brings these areas into focus for everyone. If you're looking for ideas to explore your Gemini nature, try writing your thoughts down, or listen to the buzz of activity around you, or express your observations in both verbal and non-verbal ways. Pay special attention to conversations with others, and be alert to the new information that can be learned there. Connect with your Inner Imp and let yourself be playful, clever, cheerful and fun! Learn a new word every day. Find out the names of things you never even noticed before. Read a book or newspaper or newsletter...or write one! Ride the bus to an area of town you've never been to and see what you find. And remember that it is largely through our interactions with other people and with the immediate world around us that we develop consciousness, perception and mental focus. Therefore, use this as an opportunity to increase your awareness of your immediate surroundings. Exchange information and ideas with others. Use your ability to communicate in every way you can think of. And let yourself be curious, clever and playful!

May.20 – Uranus square Pluto (11:14 of Aries/Capricorn)  (May.21 in UK, AU)

If you haven't noticed that the world is been heating up in the last few years, with controversy becoming the norm and escalating competition for dominance by competing philosophies and priorities... well you just haven't been paying attention. Uranus and Pluto have been moving into position for the square aspect (90�). Think prize fight between the Hulk and Darth Vader. I'd suggest loading up with popcorn and grabbing a seat on the sidelines, but in this drama there aren't really any true sidelines. Everyone will be (and are being) affected by the massive changes that our world is undergoing.

This square aspect is the first major turning point in a roughly 140 year cycle that Uranus and Pluto make together. The last conjunction (the start of the cycle) took place in 1965-66. The social upheaval that occurred during that time was legendary. We are still feeling ripple effects 40+ years later. In fact, those ripple effects, which themselves produce more ripple effects, have built up to the point where they are becoming waves crashing into each other. We have 3 years of exact passes of the square transit, with its effect spread out over a good 15 years, all told, possibly more depending on how you look at it.

So what's a mere mortal to do?

It's so easy to get caught up in the "hooray for my side" politics, trying to persuade others with impassioned urgency. It's as if Pluto is stubbornly refusing to budge, while Uranus does his best to throw the knockout punch. The rock meets the hard place. Everybody's yelling; nobody's listening except to formulate their next argument. And in a competitive world, winning can feel like the only worthwhile conclusion, while losing can feel like the end of the world.

This is the kind of atmosphere that wars are spawned from.

When the negotiation of Venus is overridden by the winner-take-all attitude of Mars, there's more destruction than healing that takes place. Chiron's message is that some wounding can be a good thing if it removes the toxin and stimulates healing, but too much will only destroy what is still healthy and sabotage healing.

This is NOT about any particular political party or religion or nationality or any other group that forms itself around a philosophy or ideology or belief system. In fact, all groups are subject to this escalation of energy as a collective reaction. That kind of dynamic only serves to narrow the focus to such a sharp point that it's impossible to see anything else, and that almost never goes anywhere good in the end.

Here are some suggestions. Use this transit to observe the ways you get swept up in the turmoil. (This could be personal turmoil in your immediate life or global turmoil.) How much of your own opinion, perspective and passion is being amplified by the eruption of energy from those you identify with? Or how much is a reaction to the force with which your opponent is expressing their position and trying to persuade you?

Being influenced and having your own thoughts, feelings and actions affected by the collective currents around you may or may not be something that's beneficial for you. For now, just observe it and be aware of it. See where that leads you. Aim to respond rather than react. Question, question, question. Let go of the belief that you must win at all costs or that the end will justify the means. Trust your ability to find ways to rise above what you do and don't believe to be true � it will allow you see more of what is.

Last Uranus-Pluto square: 1932-1934.

Dates for the current Uranus-Pluto cycle:

Uranus conjunct Pluto (0�): Oct.09 1965, Apr.04 1966, Jun.30 1966.

Waxing sextile (60�): 1995-1997.

Current waxing square (90�): 2012-2015

•  Jun.24.2012, Sep.19.2012, May.20.2013, Nov.01.2013, Apr.21.2014, Dec.15.2014, and Mar.16.2015.

Waxing trine (120�): 2026-2028.

Opposition (180�): 2046-2048.

Waning trine (120�): 2063-2065.

Next waning square (90�): 2073-2074.

Waning sextile (60�): 2083-2084.

Uranus-Pluto conjunction (0�): 2104.

May.20 – Mercury sextile Uranus (11:14 of Gemini/Aries)  (May.21 in NAmer AT/ NT, UK, AU)

There is potential for brilliance and excitement under this transit. You may be more spontaneous, upbeat and eccentric than usual. If you are used to a fairly predictable lifestyle, it is a time when you may be inspired to experiment with something out of character. If you are used to being whacky, zany and impulsive, this transit can provide opportunities to express this. You may have an increased ability to "think outside the box" if you stretch your mind a little, and there is the possibility of having an "ah-ha!" experience, when answers and realisations fall into place. There is also the possibility of being mentally restless, so that it's hard to slow down your thoughts or apply yourself seriously to your responsibilities. Your attention span may be a bit short for a couple of days. This energy can be used to consider new ideas that seemed outlandish or impossible before, and see new potential in them.

May.22 – Mercury square Chiron (13:32 of Gemini/Pisces)  (May.21 in NAmer PT)

Your mental focus and perceptions may feel a bit strained right now. You could find yourself locked in a struggle of indecision that stems from a "glass half empty" versus "glass half full" dilemma. It may be difficult to stay objective and evenly balanced in your perspective, but by working with this you could also find a new mental focus that gives you increased clarity. It might be tempting to sink into cynicism as a way to deal with what seems like a no-win situation. On the other hand, this transit could bring your mental perspective to a kind of "healing crisis" that forces you to get a better grip on the ideas, communication and frame of mind that have been problematic for you. Instead of reaching for extremes (hoping this will clarify the path in front of you), it will help more if you can take a few steps back to allow all the conflicting and out-of-sync elements to coexist together – creative paradox. If you have been in denial about something, this could be a turning point that allows you to grapple with the complex reality of your situation.

May.24 – Mercury conjunct Venus (18:52 of Gemini)  (May.25 in UK, AU)

Social connections, diplomatic communication and receptive awareness mark this transit. It can be a great time to negotiate contracts or agreements because the communication can usually flow easily. Focus your awareness on achieving a mutual balance between you and the other person. A win-win solution is especially easy to achieve now – so much so, in fact, that it might be tempting to only say what you think the other person wants to hear (which may or may not be wise). This can also be a time of appreciating and expressing beauty, pleasure and sensuality. If there's someone you want to get closer to (in terms of romance, friendship, business, partnership, or even an adversary!), talking gently and listening receptively can be the key that unlocks the door. You may also get new creative ideas from your interactions with people or from observing them.

Chart for the Lunar Eclipse ~ Full Moon in
Chart for the Lunar Eclipse ~ Full Moon in Sagittarius

May.25 – LUNAR ECLIPSE ~ FULL MOON in SAGITTARIUS (04:08 of Sagittarius)


Mid/West North America:

May.24, 2012, 9:24 PM CDT
May.24, 2012, 10:24 PM MDT
May.24, 2012, 11:24 PM PDT

Ottawa, Canada and
Washington DC, USA:

May.25, 2012, 12:24 AM EDT

London, UK:

May.25, 2012, 5:24 AM BST

Sydney, AU:

May.25, 2012, 2:24 PM AEST

"What's a Lunar Eclipse?"

"What's a Full Moon?"

Read more about the Sun-Moon cycles.

Read more about how you experience SAGITTARIUS energy in your life.

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When you know better
you do better.
~ Maya Angelou

Sag makes it look easy.

You want to expand your horizons? Booyah! Let's go!

Searching for truth and wisdom? Seek and ye shall find!

Trying to understand life in a more holistic way? Open your mind and let the sunshine in!

Want to get closer to God? (or Gods or the Universe or the Cosmic Muffin or the Awesome Dude) Aspire, inspire, admire, inquire!

Sagittarius' irrepressible optimism sees only possibilities � the grander the better. No obstacles, no paranoia, no droopy faces allowed.

Oh sure, Sagittarius can get judgmental or preachy. And yes, they can puff themselves up like a brightly coloured hot air balloon and sail self-righteously over the most treacherous mountains of realism or the plains of humility and common sense. But it's all for a noble cause and the best of intentions. And if you question where that road leads, you'll no doubt get a lecture on the evils of pessimism.

Those are my principles,
and if you don't like them...well I have others.
~ Groucho Marx

So along comes this happy little Sagittarian Full Moon, humming a little song and waxing poetic about the musical implications of truth and travel. The Sun in Gemini chatters to the Moon from across the solar system, wanting to collect more ideas and information about the language of music. Gemini sees the value of ideas, information and communication. Sagittarius aspires to discover the greater meaning, implications and lofty ideals within those ideas. Although the two see the world rather differently, they can understand and enjoy each other as long as neither tries to dominate over the other.

Jupiter, the planetary ruler of Sagittarius, is in Gemini right now. It's not the easiest placement for Jupiter, since he must grapple with all that information instead of cherry-picking the ones that reflect the conceptual pattern Jupiter wants to highlight. However, it does reflect the Gemini-Sag dynamic happening in the Full Moon. So as luck would have it, there's a fortunate if somewhat awkward affinity between these opposite signs at the moment.

Mercury, the ruler of Gemini, is also conjunct Jupiter in the Full Moon chart. And by traditional sign rulerships, Mercury is the Final Dispositor of the chart, elevating Mercury's and Gemini's significance in the chart. And to top if off, there's a Stellium in Gemini in the chart (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter), which adds even more emphasis on that side of the Gemini-Sagittarius axis.

All of this makes extra work for Jupiter, as the ruler of the Sag Full Moon, since he must deal with the common, consensual knowledge of the masses, when he would much rather fly off into the wild blue yonder in pursuit of the uncommon, abstract wisdom found only in the upper stratosphere. In other words, wisdom and understanding will be better found in everyday knowledge and information gathered through everyday kinds of experiences: reading, emailing, chatting with friends and neighbours, thinking about what you can do within your current surroundings, and listening to what people on the bus are talking about on your way to work.

T-square aspect pattern - Sun, Moon, Neptune

Just as Sag and Gemini are reaching a consensus, along comes Neptune in Pisces, forming a T-square with the Sun and Moon. It's a tight one too: just 1:11 orb and growing tighter (and therefore stronger). Neptune and Jupiter are cousins, since both hail from the Pisces family � Jupiter as the traditional ruler and Neptune often being considered the modern one. So they kind of "get" each other, but the similarity ends where they each take their common perspective in quite different directions.

Neptune's talent is for imagination and creativity, especially artistry. While Jupiter loves to explore theories, concepts, philosophies and intellectual perspectives, Neptune explores the unknown, conjuring ideas, visions and dreams out of the ether�creating somethingness out of nothingness. Although similar, they diverge in their purpose and the destination of their exploration. Jupiter wants to formulate the ultimate understanding of life, whereas Neptune is happy to simply merge into it, conjure from it and flow with it. Jupiter aims for an objective perspective; Neptune taps into an immersion experience.

Religion is for people who don't want to go to Hell.
Spirituality is for people who've already been there.
~ Anonymous

Let's talk about spirituality.

Spirituality is a region that appears on both Sagittarius and Pisces maps. Although Jupiter and Neptune have this in common, each has rather a different intention, purpose and agenda for it. Spirituality is hard to define at the best of times, as its boundaries tend to change depending on who is drawing the map. Spirituality is an ambiguous and highly charged word that means radically different things to different people. For example, some relate to the concept of a "spirit" that exists as an essence of oneself, independently from the body. To them spirituality is a way to connect with one's own spirit. Some might call this a soul; others, the Self.

There are those who embrace the idea of an all encompassing Spirit that is infused in every living being, every rock, every atom and every galaxy. It is this Spirit that unites all that it touches in a harmony of interconnectedness. To them, spirituality is a way to awaken to that Great Spirit from whence everything emerges. Some may call this God, or see the workings of many Gods together, while others might call it Qi or Chi or even The Force.

There are even those who dismiss out of hand anything about "spirit" as being "goofy New Age-y weirdo stuff." And yet, humans have a distinctive sentience that cannot be denied. They may relate better to the idea of ingrained personality and potential as they are written in our genetic code or imprinted by the influence of the world we grew up in. "We are all star stuff," wrote scientist Carl Sagan, expressing the physical oneness and interconnectedness of our measureless cosmos.

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
~ Lao Tzu, from the Tao Te Ching

The truth is that regardless of what we call it or how we define it, everyone has a Jupiter; everyone has a Neptune; everyone has Sagittarius and Pisces somewhere in their chart. We tend to assume that these energies represent an ethereal, intangible or reverend quality about "life, the universe and everything," and while that is true for many people, it doesn't compute in the worldview of many others.

Even a dyed-in-the-wool atheist has a Jupiter and a Neptune, so what do they do with them? They must do something with those energies. Everyone believes in something, be it God or the laws of physics. An atheist might say "I don't need to 'believe in' the laws of physics � they simply are." However, someone else might say the same about God, with equal conviction. Is one right and the other wrong? Maybe. Or not.

When it comes to the ultimate nature of the universe and life, we truly enter into the unknown. We may believe, speculate, project or theorize what we think is there beyond the horizon of consensual knowledge, but the raw truth is that we do not know. And what exactly is the horizon between what is known and what is unknown, but a very blurred line that is more of a transition zone than a clear division.

Now we're in the realm of Pisces. Through the Pisces lens, what we see is that "consensual" knowledge is anything but consistent or absolute. I think we all pretty much agree there is a distant past that preceded and led to the present moment. However, while a scientist could present carefully collected evidence for evolution and the Big Bang, a deeply devout traditional Christian may cite the 7 days of creation described in Genesis as the final authority about that past. We can argue all day and all night about which view, if any, is correct, but the truth is that our perception of life is as different and varied as there are people to contemplate it.

I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington.
He could not lie. I can, but I won't.
~ Mark Twain

Here is where the difference between Jupiter and Neptune really shows itself. Although Jupiter wants passionately to understand the true nature of the universe and life, the best way to gauge that nature is in how we apply it. Jupiter is concerned with ethics, principles and questions that expand the quest for ultimate truth beyond what is known. The questions of today become answers tomorrow that, once accepted, become facts and information, which in turn beg more questions. Jupiter's favourite question is: Why? If we know why then we start to see implications about how to live in order to reach our greatest potential.

As a result, Jupiter is the planetary ambassador for morals and ethics (guidelines to living the optimal life), and for religion and worship (the crystallized image of that ultimate reality and how to embrace and interact with it). So when one enters the Sag/Piscean common territory of spirituality, and encounters the urge to understand and embrace the ultimate nature of the life, Jupiter asks: What does it mean? What do we do with this? How can we fully embrace it? And what does it say about our place within the grand scheme of things?

Neptune, on the other hand, takes the Sag/Pisces energy and asks: How can I become more receptive to it? How can I emulate this energy? How can I reach the essence of this Universal Oneness? How can I experience that Oneness within myself? And how can I express and reflect this essence back out into the world, which is also composed of this essence?

Jupiter's "Achilles heal" (or weak link) in this quest is the temptation to stop asking questions and assume that all the crucial answers have already been found. The only thing left to do is to live the righteous life and to show others how to do that too. But the answers to questions today become the assumptions of tomorrow, and assumptions are slippery devils. Depending on which assumptions you begin with, you can arrive at dramatically different conclusions. In other words, assumptions are not absolute and still need to be questioned�in fact, it is critical to question our assumptions because if they are incorrect or contain self-serving implications, then our conclusions, beliefs and attitudes may be tainted.

The mind can calculate, but the spirit yearns, and the heart knows what the heart knows.
~ Stephen King

Neptune's point of weakness revolves around its association with imagination and fantasy, transcendence and escapism. Imagination can be a powerful ally in creative work, affirmations and changing your focus to something more positive and fulfilling than whatever dysfunctional reality you happen to be enduring. But when imagination becomes a substitute for the reality of the world you live in, where you can't distinguish fantasy from reality anymore, then it can become a liability that prevents you from working effectively with that reality.

On one hand Neptune might argue that reality is only what you make of it and that it's up to each of us to create the reality we want. While that may be true to some degree, no one of us is the only one creating our collective reality � it is a shared co-creation with other people, creatures and things around you. So Neptune's trap is the belief that you alone can control everything around you, which starts to sound more like manipulation and coercion than virtuous helping and compassionate support.

Similarly, Neptune can reach toward transcendental wisdom and Oneness with All That Is, but the attainment of this state is elusive and tricky. One must surrender to What Is in order to flow within the ocean currents of the Universe, but it can be easy (and convenient) to mistake this for an experience that simply looks and feels like it. There's a very fine line between transcendence and escapism, and even to define where one ends and the other begins is a very tricky, slippery task that brings little agreement.

As an example: an alcoholic or drug-induced stupor may simulate a feeling of surrender, letting go and flowing with the universe, but will ultimately damage your ability to function in the world around you. And as long as you're living in a physical body, you're bound to some extent to the laws of nature by which physical reality operates. So if something interferes with your ability to function within that reality, then is that really something that brings you to Oneness with the Universe? Or is it something that looks like it but actually leads you further away from it?

There are myriad ways to look at and assess the answers to these questions. As with fantasy versus imagination, the question of transcendence versus escapism is a very tricky one that's housed in a Hall of Mirrors through which you must navigate. Even our best intentions won't guarantee that we are doing good through our actions. If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, then Neptune's asphalt is composed of honourable but short-sighted efforts that don't consider the greater or long-term implications or consequences.

The evil that is in the world almost always comes from ignorance,
and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.
~ Albert Camus

These are the dilemmas, questions and valiant struggles brought out by the Full Moon in Sagittarius. Ask yourself what your intentions are when you plan to act. Even if you think you know the answer, take a step back and look at it within a greater context. As Richard Bach once wrote: is this the highest truth you know? Are you being as honest with yourself, and even perhaps with another person, as you are capable of? This isn't meant to urge you to simply second-guess yourself, but to search for hidden truth and implications that may lurk behind what seem like solid facts.

As an example, often we offer help to someone, thinking that we are doing something positive. And that might be. But it also might have a deeper reality. Helping someone can sometimes send an unintended message to the person. Rather than "I care and want to see you improve your situation," what might be received is "I don't believe you are capable of helping yourself, so I will take pity on you and do it for you." And what of your personal motives for helping? Are you truly concerned for the other's welfare, or is this a way to prove to yourself that you're a good person?

The point is not to judge yourself, nor the other person. We are all possible things. Even someone who does something nice for selfish reasons is still also motivated by a desire to do something nice. And even someone who resents someone's offer to help might still get farther with that help than without it. The point is to be honest and seek insight, which may or may not lead you to adjust your actions or motives. It's the stuff in our blind spot that can trip us up because we don't see it coming, so the more aware we are, the more effective we can be.

Aspect pattern - Mars, Uranus, Pluto

Mars is still in Taurus, and forming a sesquiquadrate aspect (135�) to Pluto and a semisquare aspect (45�) to Uranus. So your actions are best scrutinized in light of your true motives and intentions. With these stressful aspects pointing at Mars, your steps may not take you where you're trying to go if you're unaware of unconscious or hidden influences pushing you off course.

What puts an especially sharp cutting edge on Mars is that he is conjunct the fixed star Algol. Algol has a terrible reputation for causing havoc and turning life upside down. Its energy can bring you face to face with your fears and paint your worldview in gloomy colours. And yet, Algol can also lead you into a process of transformation that allows you to sever your connection to that which is toxic, detrimental and contemptible in your life.

The multiple conjunction of Venus, Mercury and Jupiter in Gemini puts a lot of emphasis on becoming aware of your values�both material and moral�and being able to consciously direct yourself according to them. However, they are also in a sesquiquadrate aspect (135�) to Saturn, which could provide some pretty unmistakable feedback if your actions are out of whack with your intentions, ethics, values and standards.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
~ Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Diagram of Lunar Eclipse in Sagittarius May 2013

This Full Moon is also technically a Lunar Eclipse. Normally a lunar eclipse is when the Moon passes through the shadow cast by the Earth from the Sun. I say this Full Moon is technically a lunar eclipse because only a mere hint of a sliver of the Moon will pass through the outer part of the shadow. You can't get much tinier than this and still be an eclipse, even on a technicality!

For those of you who follow eclipse Saros cycles (a pattern of similar eclipses that are spaced about 18 years apart), this is in fact the beginning of a new Saros cycle: 150. The last time a new Saros began was 1984!

However, even though this eclipse is extremely small, I've found that any kind of eclipse can still pack quite a punch! This is also being described by many other astrologers as a Super Moon, which means its distance from the Earth is very short. Super Moons can often be extra powerful in their effects, so this mini-eclipse is unlikely to go unnoticed!

There's a lot of challenge and stress in the chart of this eclipse. The chart consists mostly of aspects from the "square family of aspects" – square (90�), opposition (180�), sesquiquadrate (135�) and semisquare (45�), with Saturn forming a quincunx (150�) to the Sun and a semisextile (30�) to the Moon, thrown in for good measure. This means the time around this eclipse and going forward over the next two weeks (and beyond that for a few years) may provoke you into stretching your perspective, awareness and understanding about yourself, your life and others, beyond your usual reach.

Keep your mind open, your conclusions flexible, your assumptions tentative and your questions plentiful. Let the stress and challenge stretch and expand you to reach a greater perspective of truth.

Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

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May.26 – Sun square Neptune (05:20 of Gemini/Pisces)

Your ideals, hopes and wishful thinking may loom a little too large during this time, making you prone to disappointment and disillusionment. You might want a fantasy or dream to come true so much that you disconnect from the reality that seems to be in the way – only to find that the obstacle was serving a positive purpose after all. Your imagination may be very active now, but not easy to control or balance with reality. However, it can be a very creative time if you're able to harness that imagination for productive use. Unconscious urges and longings may be especially close to the surface, so you have an opportunity to learn more about the hidden forces that drive you (and perhaps distort your view of the world around you). Spiritually, you might discover that your yearning for enlightenment is not the straightforward path you had hoped for, but it can be just as valuable (although disappointing) to discover what is *not* your best path. Emotionally you may feel a bit overwhelmed, discouraged or confused. On the plus side, you have an opportunity to observe a deeper part of you, which is usually camouflaged against the distracting background of day-to-day life. There is tremendous creative, spiritual and healing potential to be found by listening to and working with the inner voices from those depths.

May.27 – Mercury conjunct Jupiter (23:12 of Gemini)

This aspect can make you quite talkative and your mind flooded with ideas. Be careful you don't blurt out any secrets! Your stream of consciousness ideas can flow abundantly right now with optimism and visionary possibilities. Write down your best ideas for later development, since you may be having too much fun playing with ideas, to stop and make them manifest. Basic perceptions and simple communication can provide food for thought that feeds your greater understanding and philosophical insight. Your point of view expands to identify opportunities, possibilities and the broader implications of what is happening around you. You might get a flash of vision, insight and inspiration. You could be called upon to form an opinion, consider a different viewpoint, expand your knowledge, or make a judgement call. Your conscious awareness is open to spiritual experiences right now.

May.28 – Venus conjunct Jupiter (23:32 of Gemini)  (May.29 in AU)

Romance is in the air, harmony is reflected in everything around you, and love and beauty abound! This can be a time of sweet mercy, pleasure and peace, both personally and in relationships. It can also be a time when your ability to attract money, resources and rewards into your life are especially strong. You might consider indulging in a lottery ticket! Or maybe treating yourself to some creature comforts, like a massage or a double chocolate brownie or anything that gets the endorphins flowing! Unfortunately, this can also be a time when you are prone to over-indulge in pleasures or overestimate your resources. By all means enjoy this lovely feel-good energy, but it's also wise to keep your "addictions" in check. Don't entirely disregard your diet, your budget or your realism in relationships.

May.31 – Mercury enters Cancer (until Aug.08)

Intuition, sensitive perception, and communication of feelings flow more easily during this transit. Your empathy may be deepened now, as you can be more able to imagine and pick up on what other people feel and need. Because of this, you may also find that it's easier to say difficult things in a sensitive, caring way. However, your open connection to others might also increase the risk of communicating in a hurtful or callous way, if you are not used to treading gently. Your creative imagination is also more accessible now. To take advantage of this, try doing some journal writing, expand your emotional awareness, have some creative fun, or think of ways to make your environment more homey and comfortable.

Mercury stays in Cancer an unusually long time because it will go retrograde in Cancer (Jun.26 to Jul.20). (Stop that groaning. ;-)

May.31 – Mars enters Gemini (until Jul.13)

Your physical and mental energy are likely to be more available in Gemini – in fact, maybe a bit too available! You typically have the energy to pursue opportunities and ideas, but this can also make you a bit distracted or shorten your attention span. Inspired ideas can lead to impulsive action, which is great when you want to be decisive, take the initiative or find courage in the moment. However, if your ideas are not well grounded or thought out, you might "shoot first and ask questions later." The more you can focus your mind to go after what you want, the more effective your actions will be. With Mars in Gemini, "the pen is mightier than the sword." When conflict arises, it is more likely to be fought and resolved with words and ideas, than with fists. This is a good time to mentally focus your intent and then act on your ideas.

May.31-Jun.12 – Grand Trine in Water Signs (Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Neptune)

Grand Trine aspect pattern

Mercury and Venus are so excited about the second trine between Saturn and Neptune (exact on Jun.11) that they decided to celebrate with a little at-home soiree in Cancer. Grand Trines often have a reputation for granting your most heartfelt wish for little or no work. While this can be somewhat overrated, it does bring the trined planets together in a way that makes their energies flow together much more easily.

This isn't always a good thing. Take for instance, Neptune and Mercury or Neptune and Venus. On the plus side, Mercury-Neptune can conjure optimism, creative imagination and openness to new experiences and ideas. On the minus side, they can make you so open to new ideas and imaginative fantasy that you don't see things clearly. "It's all good, it will all work out fine," says Mercury as it clicks on that phishing email and gets a computer virus.

The positive side of Venus-Neptune is creativity, artistry, romance, and a sense of love and positive regard for one and all. On the negative side, Venus can become so easily enamoured with that gorgeous creature walking down the street that she believes they can do no wrong, rationalizing away their confession that they posted compromising photos of their ex on Facebook for all to see. "His/her ex was a monster, so who could blame him/her?" Um, is that really how you would want to be treated if your relationship ended?

In the case of the Saturn-Neptune trine, Saturn's talent for manifestation can be brought together with Neptune's imagination to create inspired dance, music and other art forms. They can also be used to apply compassion and universal love in practical ways�for example, volunteering at your local food bank or soup kitchen, or inspiring co-workers to participate in a blood donation drive.

Even at the best of times, these two energies tend to mix together only reluctantly and precariously, like oil and water. Saturn's realism and common sense wants to bring Neptune's lofty ideals down to earth, which can make Neptune feel like the point of its existence has just been stomped on with a dirty boot. And Neptune's insistence that boundaries and reality are really just arbitrary definitions imposed on an ultimately undifferentiated flow of All That Is, making Saturn feel like his pragmatism is petty and pointless. At worst, when these energies mix awkwardly or badly, it can lead to cynicism or lethargy. It could also result in narrow-minded extremism, focusing on one planet's energy at the expense of the other, in an effort to blot out the other and remove the ambiguity generated by the two together.

These extreme manifestations of Saturn-Neptune don't usually occur with the more harmonious aspects, like the sextile or trine. However, as with all transits, how you experience it can depend largely on how you feel about either planetary energy. If you feel Saturn is too arbitrary or rigid, Neptune can be a very compelling escape from Saturn as he tries to make friends with Neptune. If you distrust Neptune as being indistinct and subject to personal projections, Saturn may be a convenient refuge that locks Neptune outside of Saturn's comforting structure. So, while the "negative" side of this combination isn't as likely (as with the square, opposition or even conjunction), it's not out of the question if you have a serious allergy to one or the other planet's energy.

On the other hand, one planetary energy can be used to enhance and enrich the other. Neptune can allow you surrender to a structured process that will carry you toward a particular goal; for example, when you immerse yourself in a project, or enrol in a course that demands your complete dedication but gives you knowledge and skills that you couldn't get any other way. Saturn can give you a healthy structure and grounding that can allow you to surrender to Neptunian flow without totally losing yourself or your objectivity in the process. Objectivity might seem to destroy the point of Neptunian surrender, but it's still important to question what you find and to find a way to link it back to practical reality. If you don't, then at the extreme, madness could be the result.

For the two weeks that this Grand Trine is in effect, watch to see how Saturn and Neptune themes appear in your life, and especially how you feel about them. Watch especially for the more positive ways that you experience them and aim to embrace these. Saturn and Neptune work together best when neither has the upper hand, but when they work together. It's not an easy job for either of them, but the result can be truly inspired and sublime, as well as practical and grounding. With Mercury and Venus playing mediator, this could be an excellent time to do some writing, painting or other creative work. It can also be a good time to find opportunities to describe and understand things in ways that are both methodical and inspired. It can be especially good to apply this to relationships�seeing both the best and worst in your partner or Significant Other, so that they're not "good" or "bad" but that each view of them balances the other so that they are simply human.

Mercury enters within orb to form the Grand Trine on May.31, while Venus comes in on Jun.03. On Jun.04, Mercury, Saturn and Neptune are all at 5� of their respective signs. And on Jun.07 Venus joins Saturn and Neptune, all at 5� � and in fact, Neptune is stationary at this time, so expect an extra dose of fairy dust! Mercury leaves orb on Jun.08 and Venus breaks the Grand Trine altogether as she leaves orb on Jun.12. The Saturn-Neptune trine is exact on Oct.10, Jun.11 and Jul.19.

Jun.01 – Sun sextile Uranus (11:42 of Gemini/Aries)  (Jun.02 in UK, AU)

You are more open than usual to spontaneity, surprises and "flying by the seat of your pants!" Your sense of humour and fun are more finely tuned during this transit, as is your ability to break out of old outworn habits. It's a great time to try new things and experiment with something that's out of character for you. In fact, it may be surprising how easy it is to break out of your usual routine...so much so that it's good to be careful not to be too reckless under this transit. Just have fun pushing the envelope! You may also find you want things to be spontaneous and new and out-of-the-ordinary so much that it's hard not to feel restless and dissatisfied with ordinary life right now. But remember that trying to plan spontaneity defeats the purpose of the exercise. And if you are hungering for something new but can't seem to find something satisfying, try digging a little deeper to see what is driving that hunger from inside you. You could find surprising answers.

Jun.02 – Venus enters Cancer (until Jun.27)  (Jun.03 in UK, AU)

Your focus in relationships may shift for a while to family, loved ones and people in your support system. You may also find that your interactions with others takes on a quality that echoes the past, perhaps childhood, and you want to reach out to connect with others more than usual – or to avoid it if those echoes are not pleasant ones. You could be especially sensitive to getting your emotional needs met, or how others want their needs to be met. Interactions with others may bring up a deep need to belong and to connect and bond with others on a personal level. The need to feel secure and safe could come up in a variety of forms now – either directly as a feeling of vulnerability, or indirectly disguised as defensiveness or manipulation. This could also a time when you want to be somewhat protective and cautious in your handling of money, possessions and other resources, striving to conserve and cultivate these areas in order to nurture them for future growth.

Jun.03 – Mercury trine Neptune (05:22 of Cancer/Pisces)  (Jun.04 in AU)

Your mind is very open to imagination, dreams and compassion under this transit. This can be a very creative time, when ideas flow like a magical river. It can also be easy to get caught up in yearning and fantasizing about your hidden wishes, although it is possible to channel this into creative expression. (e.g., writing poetry, dancing, wistful music, singing in the shower, whatever!) Listening sympathetically to others' problems may come easily now, and you are more likely to get a compassionate response from others about your own problems. However, it may also be difficult to draw clear and firm boundaries with others, since you are more susceptible to the emotional gravity of others. It is ultimately a time for optimism, hope, creativity and intuition, although it's wise to keep at least one foot on the ground.

Jun.03 – Mercury trine Saturn (05:44 of Cancer/Scorpio)  (Jun.04 in UK, AU)

It can be easier to take a logical, practical approach to problem-solving and pursuit of your goals now. Your mental outlook is likely to be calm and grounded. This is a good time to make plans and work out the logistics of how you're going to get from "here" to "there" in pursuing your goals. You may find it's time to bring closure to finished goals by distilling and systemizing what you've learned in the process of pursuing those past goals. Or, you might find you are able to draw on past achievements to assist and support your current goals and plans. It is a good transit to bring structure to your thoughts and communication. You may find it's a little easier to accept authority – yours or someone else's – and that you are able to speak authoritatively about things about which you have knowledge or experience.

Jun.04-17 – T-Square aspect pattern (Mercury, Venus, Uranus, Pluto)

T-square aspect pattern

Life just wouldn't be the same without something to bring the Uranus-Pluto energy up-close and personal... ;-) Mercury and Venus, still enjoying their at-home soiree with Saturn and Neptune, now encounter the clean-up crew who waste no time to start carting out all the unfinished bowls of pretzels and macadamia nuts, leftover fruit soup still warm on the stove, and those pretty coloured napkins and paper plates. And while they're at it, they've found some old books that Mercury read long ago (or never bothered to read) that could liberate some much needed shelf space, by donating them to the sidewalk charity box where anyone who walks by can take them home if they wish. Likewise, Venus' aging trinkets, silk flowers and those pillow cases embroidered by her grandmother that she'll never use but can't bring herself to throw away�all are food for the donation box, handily provided by the Uranus-Pluto de-cluttering crew.

In other words, it may be time to do a purge of things from your home, your past, your family, memories or even old feelings that have outlived their usefulness and yet may still need to be pried from your clutching fingers. Cancer (where Mercury and Venus are) doesn't let go of the past easily, and old "stuff" tends to pile up after a while. It could be old family heirlooms that you never liked and take up space, but what would long-dead Grandma think if you sold them, donated them or threw them out? Or it might be old ways of seeing the world or life that you picked up long ago, which really doesn't fit you now but you hang on to them because they feel like a link to your past. It could be as intense and private as memories of childhood abuse that need to be removed from the top 10 on your priority list, so that you can focus on other things that allow you to move on in your life. Or it could be as simple as cleaning out your closets and kitchen cupboards to air them out and make room for things that don't need to occupy your living floor and counter space.

Keep an eye on your thoughts, expectations and values over the next 2 weeks, as these are likely to show you what needs to be looked at more closely and perhaps cleared out a bit. Expect that your priorities and what you give your energy to will probably shift around during this time, and use this as a way to decide if something is past its active shelf life and can be relegated to the storage closet or even the sidewalk donation box (literally or figuratively speaking). If you feel the impulse to hang on to something, ask yourself if that's because you still truly need it, or are you just afraid of not having it as part of your identity? There's no right or wrong answer to that, but it's good to ask yourself what's really going on.

The timeline of this T-square: Mercury enters orb to form the T-square on Jun.04. Venus follows on Jun.07. Mercury forms the closest connection with Uranus and Pluto on Jun.08 (all of them 10-11� of their respective signs), while Venus is at her closest on Jun.12 (all of them 11-12�). Mercury leaves orb on Jun.14, and on Jun.17 Venus breaks the T-square by leaving the orb.

Jun.04 – Sun square Chiron (13:45 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Jun.03 in NAmer MT/PT)

Your self-confidence and patience may be a bit strained right now, stretched by the urge to break free of chronic constraints. Motivation and self-esteem may seem to sag and suffer from old problems that you thought were resolved. This is probably because you are seeing "the flaws in the system" that are preventing you from getting the results you want. It will help to take a fresh approach to your situation. You may need to let go of what you think the results "should be" or how they should come to you. Be open to getting what you want in a different form than you were expecting. You may have to work extra hard for results now, especially if it means having to find a different route to success. If it seems like a door of opportunity has closed, look for an unexpected advantage or hidden alternative. This could allow you to tap into other opportunities that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

Jun.07 – Neptune stationary Retrograde (05:22 of Pisces)  ("What's a Station?"  "What does Retrograde mean?"  Read more about Retrograde planets.)

For up to a week before and after this date, you may feel a thick concentration of Neptune energy. This could include vivid dreams and imagination, foggy confusion or fluid intuition. You might experience unusual sensitivity to the people and situations around you. The station could create a turning point in situations that have unfolded over the last few months, especially those in which you need to surrender to something greater than yourself, whether that is the creative process, a stressful situation or the Universe in general. This can be a time when you come to an internal acceptance (or resignation) about what needs to be done in your life. As a result, you might feel a sense of longing, dissatisfaction, disappointment, sadness, depression, fatigue or low energy. Or, you might feel a sense of unburdening relief, inspiration, hopeful possibilities or deep beauty. The next 5-6 months will be a time to probe the spaces in between the facts and the uncertainties � to learn about that force greater than yourself, as well as the (unconscious) part of yourself that longs to merge with it.

Jun.07 – Venus trine Neptune (05:22 of Cancer/Pisces)

This can be a time of romance, creativity, and a sense of oneness with the natural beauty of all that exists in the world. On a social or intimate level, things may run smoothly – even a bit magically! So be sure you are clear about what you really want. In terms of finances and material worth, this can be a time of blessings and abundance that could seem to appear out of nowhere. But be careful – it can also be a time of overspending and wondering where the money went! Your natural beauty and warmth shines through now, so it is a good time to peek out from behind any fa�ade of glamour or illusion you might be cloaked in. You are likely to see the very best in others (and they in you), so that negotiation, interaction and attraction can seem to flow effortlessly. This magical attraction energy could also open you up to seeing wonderful qualities in others that may or may not actually be there, so do a reality check with a trusted friend before you make any important choices.

This is part of an exact Grand Trine: Mercury and Venus trine Neptune trine Saturn. See May.31.

Jun.07 – Venus trine Saturn (05:33 of Cancer/Scorpio)  (Jun.08 in AU)

Stability in relationships and finances characterises this transit. You have increased ability to be disciplined about spending and to invest the hard work to maximise your earnings. Your ability to grasp the solid, realistic facts will help you choose wisely in your investments of both money and interaction with others. Commitment and structure are easier to achieve and embrace than change or taking risks. Self-worth can benefit now because you are less inclined to give in to mood swings. However, if you are prone to depression, you might want to be careful you don't become so grounded and stable that you lose touch with your sense of hope and potential. It is a good time to make concrete progress in matters involving beauty, love, harmony and balance. Keep your pleasures simple and humble for maximum benefit.

Jun.07 – Mercury opposite Pluto (10:52 of Cancer/Capricorn)  (Jun.08 in AU)

This transit brings powerful words and ideas! They require you to strike a balance between personal perceptions and trans-personal implications. Your communication can be more penetrating, forceful or persistent than usual now, and a little will go a long way, so use this ability sparingly and carefully. In the same way, the words and perceptions of others may have a deeper and stronger impact on you than they normally do. This could be a mixed blessing – you may discover some profound insight and psychological truth in what others say to you, but you might also be receiving their unconscious projections too (meaning their perceptions and feedback might say more about them than about you). Deep self-honesty can help you decide what is true and what is being distorted. Avoid reacting on "automatic pilot" and give yourself some mental and psychological breathing room to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

Jun.07 – Mars square Neptune (05:22 of Gemini/Pisces)  (Jun.08 in UK, AU)

For up to a week before and after today, you have a chance to discover and work with your blind spots and the hidden motives that trip you up. It may feel like you are spinning your wheels or "shadow-boxing" and not even sure why. You may be fighting a hidden agenda or unconscious motives (yours or someone else's). You might also be trying to apply a concrete solution to an ambiguous situation, and then wondering why it isn't working very well. Responding to conflicts in a passive-aggressive or manipulative way can be tempting under this transit, since you may not know how to take direct and effective action. Resentment might become a defiant way to express toothless anger. Part of the problem may be that you are fighting against your own idealism, and resisting the acceptance that the other person or situation can't be the way you want them to be. Feelings of disappointment or helplessness may trigger much deeper feelings from your unconscious, making it difficult for you to know how to respond effectively in the here-and-now. It will probably help to work on owning your feelings, needs, longings and (hidden) agendas. Being honest with yourself about what's really going on inside you will go a long way toward increasing your empowerment.

Next Update:  NEW MOON in GEMINI, available by June 8, 2013.

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